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Hormone Balance: Replacement and Methods for Testing with Deborah Sullivan, NP

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Are you feeling tired, depressed, overwhelmed, having trouble losing weight or experiencing brain fog?

Dr. Karlfeldt, ND, PhD talks with Deborah Sullivan, NP about testing estrogen-progesterone balance, thyroid, testosterone, and others that make up a complete panel of hormone testing for men and women, as well as common symptoms of hormone imbalance that many may have already received testing and received a result of “normal” from their physician. 

Dr. Karlfeldt, ND, PhD: What are some of the functions that they … we’re looking at the estrogen-progresterone, we’ve got the thyroid, and also for men testosterone …

Deborah Sullivan, NP: And women. Women have testesterone!

Dr. K: Women have testosterone also.

DS: Yes they do!

Dr. K: So we need to look at all these different things. When a person comes in to you, and they wonder whether maybe it’s hormones that may be off … how do you take care of that? How do you test that?

DS: We do blood testing, or we can do urine testing, depending on what the patient prefers and what their insurance will cover. However, there are other things we can do as well. For instance, somebody who is suffering from low thyroid, possibly, if they are having fatigue, depression, symptoms of cold intolerance, dry skin, weight problems where they are either not able to lose weight, or they are gaining weight

We can look at their history, obviously you would assess what they’re telling you. You’re also going to be looking at their physical exam, and basal morning temperatures, is very important. 

Those are the things I would be looking at is blood, basal morning temperatures, physical exam and history.

Dr. K: And frequently I know when a patient has gone to another medical doctor and they test their TSH and they say, “Well the TSH is fine and so you don’t have any thyroid issues.” And still they are depressed, you know the classical signs of low thyroid. So is TSH all you need?

DS: Well that’s what we were taught in school, that the TSH is the most powerful predictor of thyroid problems. However, I don’t believe that. I think we should be looking at the free T3 and T4. Thyroxin is primarily the storage form of thyroid, and then T3 is the more active form. So we should be looking at those, and not the thyroid stimulating hormone.

Dr. K: Okay, so you get more of a complete picture. Because I know there are so many patients that get their blood tests and everything looks fine, and they are still dealing with the symptoms.

DS: Right. And so even if their blood tests are normal or are on the low end of normal, if they are having symptoms, and if their basal morning temperatures, for instance, for thyroid are low, then we should be looking at implementing treatment and see how they do clinically.

Dr. K: Because we are treating a patient, not treating a blood test.

DS: Absolutely.

Dr. K: Hormones are extremely powerful. And I strongly suggest if you are dealing with any kind of issues like depression, fatigue, or dealing with any kind of weight gain or some of these symptoms. like thyroid symptoms or adrenal symptoms. There are a lot of symptoms that come along when the hormones are off.

I would definitely suggest that you come and get your hormones checked. And that way we can see if the health issues you are dealing with are hormonal-based. Because they are powerful drivers when it comes to weight loss, when it comes to how you feel emotionally, and also how your brain functions, and so forth. So, thank you very much Debbie!

DS: Thank you!

Photo by on Ana Viegas on Unsplash.

HealthMade Team

HealthMade Team

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